National Taxpayers Union (NTU) applauds the Senate for their unanimous passage of S.19, “The MOBILE NOW Act of 2017.” Introduced 18 months ago by Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), this bipartisan legislation will promote development of a next-gen 5G wireless network. Its enactment would ensure the U.S. remains the global leader in technology and innovation, as well as increase access to broadband in rural areas.
The MOBILE NOW Act cements into law a 2010 executive order that requires the federal government to free 500 megahertz worth of spectrum to the private sector. In conjunction with increased availability to broadband, federal agencies will be required to streamline applications and permits for wireless infrastructure on federal property. These major changes will help address the growing demand for connectivity and maximize the potential of the “Internet of Things” in rural communities across the nation.
Importantly, Section 21 of the MOBILE NOW Act includes the Wireless Telecommunications Tax and Fee Collection Fairness Act, formally S.1261. This provision benefits consumers and businesses by clarifying the tax treatment of certain purchases. By requiring a financial transaction to exist before taxes can be collected, Section 21 would effectively end the arbitrary and unfair attempts of state governments to collect taxes from businesses that were not directly involved in a commercial transaction.
As this legislation moves to the House of Representatives, we look forward to working with Members to ensure its timely passage.